Alameda County has been selected to receive 14 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACO) for a wide range of programs.
These include initiatives to protect the environment, enhance public safety and leverage innovative technologies to make county operations more efficient and enhance customer service.
It is the largest haul of awards Alameda County has ever won in NACO's annual Achievement Awards program, which recognizes counties around the country for innovative programs that modernize their operations and increase services to residents.
"These awards not only are a validation of the innovative work being done across our county organization, they also reflect the significant progress we have made in addressing key priorities," said Susan Muranishi, Alameda County Administrator. "These include sustainability, protecting our community's most vulnerable residents, supporting businesses and using technology to better serve the public."
Six of the awards are going to the county's Information Technology Department (ITD) for projects, often performed in tandem with other departments, that leverage technology to improve customer services and save public resources by making county operations more efficient. They are:
The Auditor Property Tax Information System, or APTIS, a new web-based solution developed in cooperation with the County Auditor-Controller agency that helps the county more efficiently manage the more than $2 billion in property tax revenue it receives each year.
READY.ACGOV.ORG, a new mobile-friendly emergency preparedness website that provides an easy-to-follow, step-by-step process to help the public prepare for the major earthquakes, fires and other major disasters.
E-warrants, a new electronic process developed to help local law officers in submitting warrants for arrests, searches and other legal procedures for judicial approval. The new process has cut the time for obtaining required judicial approval for warrants from several hours on average to a matter of minutes.
A new "Polling Place Lease-Card System" developed by ITD in cooperation with the Alameda County Registrar of Voters. The new electronic system adds efficiencies to the process of securing Election Day polling places across the county by allowing property owners to sign temporary leases for these sites electronically.
A "Position Request System" that provides an interface between the County Budget and the Human Resource Management System, reducing the time it takes to process requests.
The creation of electronic "Probable Cause Declarations" that have streamlined the process of obtaining court approval of all arrests made by law enforcement in Alameda County.
Other initiatives chosen for NACO Achievement Awards include projects designed to reduce the environmental impacts of county programs, more effectively bring county programs to under-served populations and protect public safety. These award winners were:
A "Green Child Care Program," led by the County General Services Agency's Early Care and Education program. It works with local pre-schools to reduce waste and teaches children about recycling, reusing and composting.
"Castro Valley Meet in the Street," a day-long celebration each November that was created by the county's Community Development Agency in collaboration with residents and local businesses. A popular event, it promotes local businesses and civic pride.
The Human Exploitation & Trafficking (H.E.A.T.) Watch initiative led by the Alameda County District Attorney's office. The program combats child sex trafficking through multi-media communication strategies, innovative technologies, and educational tools, including billboard campaigns and a radio show.
"Learn Your Rights in California," an educational program sponsored by the Alameda County Public Defender's office. The program advises youths about their constitutional rights regarding detentions, searches and arrests, and how to properly communicate with law officers.
A "Rape Kit Backlog Elimination Project," led by the District Attorney's office that has identified and catalogued nearly 2,000 kits containing evidence from sexual assault cases that had not undergone forensic testing. These kits have now been tested, helping to revive investigations into numerous "cold" cases.
The "Local Government Electric Vehicle Fleet Demonstration Project" in which Alameda County, led by its General Services Agency, spearheaded a regional partnership that received federal funding for procuring 90 electric vehicles for government agencies throughout the Bay Area. The project is the largest local government purchase of EVs to date and will save taxpayers a combined $500,000 in fuel savings alone.
The "Regional Renewable Energy Procurement Project," also led by the General Services agency, in which Alameda County joined with 18 other government agencies to jointly procure solar energy systems for 186 publicly owned sites in four Bay Area counties. The project is the largest-ever joint procurement of renewable energy projects by local government and will create an estimated 850 local jobs and save taxpayers more than $100 million over the lifetime of the renewable energy projects.
The Alameda County Library's P.U.L.S.E. (Pop-Up Library Services for Everyone) Project, which brings extended library branches, including an automated library kiosk, computer terminals, and library programming and promotional activities to agencies serving marginalized populations. Agencies served by P.U.L.S.E. include the Alameda County Family Justice Center, Alameda County Child Support Services, and Abode Family Services' Sunrise Village Emergency Shelter.
"We are extremely proud of the national recognition that Alameda County is receiving from NACO this year for programs that really are leading the way in terms of innovative governance in the 21st Century," said Scott Haggerty, president of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.